Blood red earth.
Blackened skies.
People crying out.

Over the weekend tragedy once again struck as 50 people lost their lives over a senseless shooting. Over 50 more people were hurt because of inexplicable hate. In the beginning I read reports, praying for the lives lost and the families who lost them. Terrorism. Hatred. Anger. All because these people were gay? A mountain of grief as people from all walks of life became united.

Reports from every news station littered news channels, social media, all feeds possible. CNN reported that as investigators worked through the club they had to hear the nightmarish sounds of victims’ cellphones as they continuously harmonized with the calls of their loved ones ensuring they were alright. All the blood, the lives lost, the stagnation of death hovering over the room. Violence. Venom. Malice. All because these people took a night out to have fun?

My heart has been heavy this week. When did this world learn to hate each other? When did this world decide that one type of life is far worse then another? When did this world believe there is only one right and one wrong? When did this world forget about love and forgiveness? When did this world choose anger and misdirected redemption? When did we stop understanding that all lives matter? When did we stop understanding that love should be what wins?

There are so many things I wish for in this world. Most of all I wish love for this world. I cannnot comprehend how someone could hate. I have been angry many times over. I have used the word hate in an extemporaneously noncommittal way. And maybe that is the issue? Not clearly understanding the intentions of hate. Not clearly understanding the repercussions of the use of the word. Not clearly understanding the tragedy that follows the word. Maybe that is the reason that people hate today?

Hate is such a strong word. After this weekend no wonder my parents wanted to strike it from my vocabulary.

There has never been a time that I have ever had to personally experience hatred. I’ve experienced racism and sexism. But, never hate. I could not begin to understand what could cause one person, or a group of people, to decide that their hatred for another group is justification enough to dismantle said group. And yet, every day there continues to be so much violence throughout. So much darkness.

In the midst of this darkness the struggle after the aftermath has become fingerpointing. One group has taken responsibility. But, that doesn’t matter because another group will say it is due to religion. Another group will point to an amendment. Another will speak of politics. The blood of the victims soak into the ground and we so often forget that the struggle isn’t about who and what is responsible for what has happened. The real focus should be the struggle to live after such a loss.

America and the world stands in unity this week in honor of those who have fallen and those who could have. This is what we should be doing, standing in unity, in love. We should be forgetting about the differences. We should be forgetting about sexual orientation. We should be forgetting religious affiliation. We should be forgetting about political parties. We should be forgetting about the hate. We should be united, coming together in unity to walk side by side through this struggle. We should be praying for strength and peace. We should begin to remember and to honor.

So today and forever more, begin a new day in unity against hate and violence. Begin a new day strengthened in numbers against fear and death. Begin a new day against bigotry, discrimination, racialism. Stand together, brothers and sisters in love, to rise and rebuild from the reddened ashes of the repugnant act of malice. Let us show the world that we stand with Orlando in agreement for change. In agreement for peace. In agreement for love.

Let us stand together.
Rebuild love.
Rebuild hope.
Rebuild humanity.

May God soothe the hearts of those affected by the tragedy in Orlando. May God soothe the pain of the hearts of those around the world. Praying for peace to be encompassed and begin to overflow a world of darkness. May God teach us of love, His love, and redemption. And may we be strengthened to once again rebuild out of saddened tragedy.

Pray for the world. xoxo